Wednesday, August 27, 2003

My Final Semester Starts Here

It’s been quite an interesting start to this school year. Classes haven’t even started yet and we’ve had guests sleeping (passing out) on our couches and a bunch of DDR playing. I can see with the return of the DDR pads and a new version of the game this could again turn our apartment into a hub of activity this semester. I would actually enjoy that again this year. Second semester last year it was odd to not really have many people visiting, and if they did it was individually or in small groups. I sometimes like having a large conglomeration of people over visiting. Let’s just pray that nothing happens to the DDR pads this year.

Anyhow, class starts today and I am still unsure about how much I’m going to like the schedule I have set up for this, my last semester. Anyone who goes/went to SJU or CSB knows about our wanky six day schedule. With our six day cycle one week Monday would be day one, Tuesday day two, on down to Friday which would be day five. Then on the following Monday it would be a day six and Tuesday would start over at day one. It can get confusing if you have labs, but I actually like it. My odd days I work at the prep school from 7:30 to 10:30 am and then I have class at CSB from 11:20 am to 12:30 pm. On even days I have to work from 7:30 to 9:30 am and then I have class at SJU at 9:40 to 10:50 am, then I get to eat and trek over to CSB for class at 1:00 to 2:10 pm and then quickly come back to SJU for class at 2:40 until 3:50 pm. I don’t really like having to travel back and forth between campuses, but that’s the only options I had since those were the only courses I could take to get my philosophy degree this semester.

I do really like our room this year. True, it isn’t much different then the apartment we had last year (we only moved across the hall), but I like the set up we have here better. We no longer have to walk through our kitchen to get into our living room. When you come in the kitchen is in one direction and the living room is in the other. The trade-off for this better set up is that the living room is slightly smaller. We set it up nicely, however, so that we have a cube where the entertainment center is at one end and on the other three sides you have couches. There is just enough space inside the cube for us to put the DDR pads down when we want to play.

Well, it’s about time for me to head off to class. We’ll see how this first one goes. Three of my four professors this year I’ve never had before so I’m a little sketch on how they teach and what they’ll expect. This could make the first few weeks a little stressful as I won’t know how much effort to put into everything and I’ll probably go overboard in the direction of putting too much work in. Oh, ultimate frisbee also starts today so if you’re on campus and want to play come to the softball fields at St. John’s at 4:00 pm. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Monday, August 25, 2003

The Xbox Will Be Popular this Year

Well, I am now moved back in at college and well situated. For some reason this year the way that we have our room set up and me bringing a lot less stuff has made my room seem much bigger. Of course we don’t have Karl and his stuff moved in yet, but I’m sure he won’t have too much stuff as he didn’t really last year. It’s an interesting feeling to be back. I’m happy to be back and I love being up here, but also I don’t want anyone else here on campus. I know that’s an odd thing to say, but that’s exactly how I feel right now.

I like the openness of campus right now with only the limited number of people here. If only the campus could be populated by all my friends and a few other people. I really have no desire to see both campuses overrun with stupid freshmen. They always seem to be the crux of all the crap that happens on campus. If something gets broke, it’s usually them. If someone is being obnoxiously drunk, it’s probably a freshman. Someone acting like they’re better than everyone else around them—it’s a freshman. They just don’t know how campus works and what it is like here and this always causes so many odd little problems……well, maybe they’re not really problems but more so annoyances. Yes, I know that I was once a freshman, but I also think that I was an abnormal freshman in that I wasn’t stupid like the majority of every year’s freshman class.

I suppose I shouldn’t rail on the freshman too much, but almost every time someone does something to piss me off up here it’s usually a freshman just being dumb. Instead of having the worthless orientation sessions that they do up here, they should have an orientation session telling all the freshman not to be total nutsacs. I’d actually help with that orientation. I’d fill them full of stuff they need to know like not to get uber-plowed every night of their first week here. Or how about not to ask every hot girl they meet for their phone number or if they want to come over. If only they realized that they get hounded over and over so much that they’re not going to give it to you. Also, don’t just go through the dorms from room to room stopping in and being intruding. You might think you’re getting to know people, but you’re actually an intrusion. Girls, don’t wander around the guy dorms all the time, it’s not going to get you a boyfriend, it’s going to give you the reputation of being easy and looking for some sweaty lovin’. Show up to your classes. Just because class is optional now doesn’t mean that skipping won’t hurt your grades. Well, I could go on and on, but would it really help to tell them? I’m pretty sure most of them are hopeless and just have to figure it out for themselves.

Now on a completely different note, Kristin and I picked up a couple of new Xbox games—Tao Feng and MechAssault. I had been wanting to get MechAssault for a very long time now and the price was finally low enough where I could justify buying it. That, and I had a Best Buy gift card to use as well! The hype behind MechAssault is well deserved. Being a fan of all the Battletech games that were released for the PC, this game had a lot to live up to and it’s doing it so far. I’m not too far into it, but I’m already extremely impressed by it.

Tao Feng got bought on a whim while we were visiting Electronics Boutique. We were looking to see how much Bloodrayne was because Kristin has had a hankering to get that game for a while. As we were looking we picked Tao Feng and it looked pretty cool. Being only $25 and since it was a fighting game, we decided to split the cost and buy it. We were not disappointed. It is a lot of fun and I think it might have knocked X-Men off of its fighting game throne in our apartment. The only bad thing about the game really doesn’t have to do with the game, it has to do with me sucking at it. Kristin and Jared continually kick my ass over and over. I think for every round that I win they manage to come out ahead 5 times. I guess I’ll just have to practice some more.

Well, Karl should be getting here sometime soon, so I suppose I should clean up a little and finish putting all of my stuff away so he can move in without any of my stuff being in his way. Man, it feels so much like last year already……

Thursday, August 21, 2003

It's Over Before I Even Realized It Started

Yesterday, in my hastiness to get a post out on my site, I completely forgot to mention anything about my family’s trip to the Minnesota zoo on Sunday. My family, along with Kristin, Stacy, and Grandmama, went to the MN zoo. My mom had gotten the tickets earlier in the summer for cheap on some radio auction. She seems to get a bunch of random stuff (free pizzas and tickets for stuff) from these radio auctions. I wonder if they ever have anything cool up for grabs? Eh, I digress.

The zoo was a ton of fun. The only thing that wasn’t fun was the extreme heat. It was a solid 90-odd degrees out which made for some minor annoyance while we walked outside, but I didn’t mind too much. What did concern me more, though, was the sky-high prices of the food there. For Kristin and myself to each get a cheeseburger & fries it was $10. We didn’t even get pop with that! Two cheeseburgers and two orders of fries with tax cost over $10……how is that not highway robbery? For the rest of my family to eat it cost more than the actual tickets to the zoo did.

The animals at the zoo were as interesting as they ever were. I got to see most of my favorites like the bats and the monkeys. Kristin almost didn’t get to see her favorite, the wolves, since they had just had babies a few days ago and were hiding to be with them. The first time by we couldn’t find them at all, but on our way back by their area Kristin wanted to look once more just to see if they somehow appeared. She came back to me a couple of minutes later to take me over to the viewing area to see them. They were hiding in some brush so that you could hardly see them unless they moved.

After the zoo, I took Kristin home to St. Cloud and stayed there for a bit to visit her family (Annie was home with mono, but she seemed fine to me), watch some tv, and relax before driving back home again—a 2.5 hour trip I was dreading. I really hate driving, but I don’t really have a solid reason to explain why I do. I think the main reason I don’t like it is it seems like a waste of time. What’re you doing while you drive? Nothing. Sure, you might listen to the radio, but besides that you’re just sitting there doing nothing. I could be spending that 2.5 hours doing something else, but instead I’m stuck driving. I guess I’d just rather use that time for something else. That, and I get antsy when I drive. I hate just sitting there for so long.

I have to finish up packing for school. I leave tomorrow morning to move back in for my final semester of college. I can’t wait to get back, yet I am a bit sad because it’s my last semester and I know as soon as it starts it’ll be over before I know it. Heck, that’s the way college went. I was afraid to start it, but as soon as it did, just as quickly it was over. I’m sure all of life is just like that. No doubt 50 years down the road I’ll be celebrating an anniversary, much like my grandparents, and I’ll be thinking to myself, “It feels like life only just started…” On my dying day, I still don’t think I’ll be ready to accept that life has run its course. It still feels like it is only beginning, but looking back I know so much has ended. A sad thought…..

I guess it’s only appropriate to end the summer on a somewhat melancholy note, especially since this year’s crop is not looking good. If we don’t get any rain soon I fear for our family’s lack of income. If the crops die, it would be a tragedy much like it would any other year, but this year it would be more so because of the addition to the house we have to pay for now (not to mention my inflated college bill and Randy’s college bill tacked on top). I have a feeling it might be a lean winter when it comes to spending money. I’ve decided to stop ordering comics from ebay to save a little money. I’ll just stick to the new titles I get during the month. I’m also going to go through my cd and dvd collection and sell many of the ones that I don’t particularly want or need anymore. Let’s hope that some rain pops up here soon so that our harvest doesn’t evaporate and disappear.

Ok, it’s really time to go. This is my last day working for Kingland here in Rochester (although I will continue to do work for them from school). It’s actually a little bit of a relief not to be working from the office anymore because I won’t have to be driving 80+ miles a day commuting from work to home. I can’t believe that I spend about an hour and a half a day in the car driving to and from work. Such is life, I suppose. The real world seems to be one big inconvenience. I’ll live. Sorry for being so morose today. I really don’t know why my mood is the way it is.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

50 Years...

Yet again I have been the victim of my own laziness and what ends up suffering? Yep, you’re correct, my weblog. I’ve just been busy trying to get this new website put together here at work before I leave. I finally have all the templates made for the layouts of all of the sections. They might need a little prettying up in the future, but I think they’ll do nicely for now. The only thing left that I really have to do now is add the content……which I have close to none of. I am clueless as to what should be put up on each page because no one gets back to me with what they want on their pages. So right now I’m stuck in the waiting game. As soon as I get a content list I can finish this site up. From the way it looks, though, it won’t be ready to launch for at least a week or two.

Well, let’s think back a little bit here……Friday was the last day I updated, huh? Ok, so we had our last improv show on Friday night. I think it went very well, although it might have ran a bit long. I think we performed for about two and a half hours or so. Afterwards most of the group went to Applebee’s (as usual). We had a group of about 20-30 in the back of the restaurant. It was an interesting meal for me because I kept thinking in the back of my mind that this might be the last time the majority of Strike Team will be together.

It came out after the show that Karl and Ryan were disappointed in the attendance and how the season went this summer. I understand how they feel because we would often have practices where few people would show up, but I still think that Strike Team should have another season next summer. Give it another go and if the attendance and dedication still isn’t there, then shut the group down or shift the leadership roles.

Anyhow, Saturday night the Gebhardt side of the family had a gathering at the Holiday Inn in Austin for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. It’s hard to imagine that they had been together that long. What is even harder to believe is that their marriage started with their secretly eloping. Usually marriages that start off that way don’t last because the people involved do it on pure whimsy instead of actual love. This is one of the very few exceptions to the rule.

We watched a powerpoint presentation of a bunch of pictures of when my dad, uncles, and grandparents were all much younger. My uncle Jim looks exactly like Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle. My dad looked much like he does now, except a little younger. Oddly enough, my grandparents haven’t changed a whole lot either. We were also treated to many stories from my grandparents’ youth, some of the funny, some of them sad, and some simply told to show the lengths that they went to for each other. To top everything off, my grandpa surprised everyone by presenting my grandma with a diamond ring, since they never got to have anything too fancy when they were younger. Special time. I can only hope that someday I’ll be able to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. 50 years—that’s a long time. More than half of most people’s lives. 50 years shared together. Wow.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Strike Team Improv's Last Night

Tonight another summer season of Strike Team Improv comes to a close. It’s hard to imagine that we have already put in an entire summer of improv. To make matters even more, shall we say, final is the notion that Ryan and Karl don’t seem to want to do the troupe again (this, of course, being my intuition and the rumor at work). This would be really too bad, if you were to ask me. I’ll be back here again next summer with probably nothing to do. I can’t imagine not wanting to do it again.

I will admit, this season of improv didn’t go quite as smoothly as last season did. I think that last summer, simply because of the newness of it, we were all much more dedicated. This year was our second year—it was no longer something new. Since it wasn’t something new, we seemed to have trouble keeping practice attendances up (especially as the season started to wane). I think there were a couple of reason why many people in our group couldn’t make it.

First, I think a lot of us were much more busy this summer and having practice two nights a week along with a show on Friday takes away three nights of a five night week. I know for me it got to be a lot of time invested, not simply because I had three nights to do improv, but because between work and improv practice/shows I had to just hang out in town waiting for practice to start. See, I live 40 miles outside of town so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to drive home at 4:30 or 5:00 and then drive back in for 7:00 practice and then drive home again at 9:00. I would go insane and be running my car into the ground at the same time.

Since everyone was so busy, I think it would have been easier to have one practice a week to prep us for our show and then have our show. If we’d have practice on Wednesday and our shows still on Friday, I think a lot of people would show up more often. Also, if someone didn’t come to practice on Wednesday, I wouldn’t have them be in the show. That would make coming to practice all that much more important.
The practices themselves would then have to have a lot of focus since you’d only be having them once a week before a show. As it was this summer, I think focus is something a lot of our practices lacked. There would be many practices where we would be playing games and I would not have a chance to participate or I would feel uncomfortable participating in a scene simply because a couple of people in practice would dominate it and drag it on, some times for 30-45 minutes.

Now this is assuming that we would be doing scenes. There were often many other times that we didn’t really do anything but sit around and BS. Sometimes it was because of lack of focus, but many times it was from lack of people or people coming late. I found it very disconcerting that many people in our group, who live in Rochester would be late whereas I would give up my afternoon to wait at Studio Academy to be on time.

Now I don’t want to make it seem like Strike Team Improv was no fun this year, because it was. If it wasn’t, I would have quit a long time ago. I had many fun nights of improv and I always left having laughed a good amount. I had many great afternoons hanging out before practice, having lunch with Julie, watching movies, reading by the lake, and other relaxing things. True, some of the members of our group can really get on my nerves sometimes, but I still think they’re all great people and are a blast to hang out with when I get the chance. Living so far out of town often makes it hard to stay out late after practice when I know I have to get up early to get to work the next day.

I really hope that Strike Team does reform next year, even if it’s not headed up by Ryan or Karl. I would hope that enough of us would want to come back and do it that we could get the troupe back together for another go-round. If not, then tonight will be our last time on stage together. I hope it goes well and will be a show we can all remember just in case Strike Team stays down for the count next summer.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Movie Night

If there is one place that I ever need to go when I’m bored or need a good laugh, it’s the Onion. No other place on the internet provides such wonderfully crude, brash, and genuinely funny content as they do……well, except maybe the Landover Baptist Church. The reason I’m bringing both of these sites up now is because I read them both this morning and actually chuckled out loud while reading them. There isn’t much that can make me laugh out loud, but these never fail.

Now putting my site plugging aside, I finally had a chance to have the first official movie night of the summer last night. It was odd having the first (and maybe the last) movie night of the summer this late in the season. Last year it seemed like we had one at my house almost every week. This year I’ve been busy more than last. Chris and Paul were both gone in Alaska. I was in South Dakota for more than a week. Sarah was gone all summer. Caleb seemed to be at his cabin a lot and often times we just couldn’t find a time we were all free.

It was great to have movie night again, though. Chris, Paul, and Caleb all made it over and we ended up watching Rob Roy. Paul’s captain on the fishing boat he served on this summer was in love with this movie and quoted it all the time, and since none of us had ever seen it, we thought it was the perfect flick. It turned out the be not quite as good as we thought, but it was still very quotable nonetheless (mainly lots of Scottish dirty-talk).

Sometimes I think it would be so cool to live back in medieval times or in the age of kings in Europe, but then again I don’t think I’d like to live my entire life in that type of an environment. It always looks like so much fun with all of the swordplay, the chivalry, the old fashion romance, and the decadence. Then again, if I lived back then I probably wouldn’t have been a fighter or royalty. I would no doubt have been a worthless peasant that worked 12 hours a day just to stay alive. If, however, I somehow was royalty, I could only imagine how wonderful it would be.

Instead of living in a time like that, I would rather someday attend an old, European type ball. I think it would be a great time to dress in the garb of the day (it might not be quite that comfortable for the women, though) and have a ball just as they did with authentic music and atmosphere. I’m afraid that the way our culture is moving, we will soon forget all of the older customs of the cultures that have come before us.

Right now it seems like it’s very hard to get people to do anything in general. For the most part people are content to tend to themselves or to stay within their patterns of habit. No one seems to want to branch out to try new things (I know am an guilty of this myself). Why try something new when you are perfectly happy doing what you already do? I often wish that I was a little more open to new things. For example, Kristin has asked me to join karate with her. I’ve thought it over and it sounds like it would be interesting, but I don’t know if I really want to do it because it’s something new and outside of my safety zone. I might be missing out on something really awesome simply because my brain has a hard time overcoming the fact that I might have to do something new that I’ve never done before.

I think that this is also the same reason I don’t want to try to learn how to swim—it’s something new and different. It would be easier if I just didn’t try and kept to what I know. So what do I do to change the way my mind operates? Electroshock therapy? Continual kicking to the groin until I give in? Drinking enough alcohol to overcome my normal thoughts? I don’t think any of these are viable methods, but I also can’t think of anything reasonable that would work beyond just doing something for the sake of doing it and ignoring whatever your brain might tell you……it’s really too bad I can’t just do that :-)

Well, speaking of something new, anyone who hasn’t made it to a Strike Team Improv show yet this year or last should come tomorrow night to the studio academy in Rochester for our final show. Doors are at 6:30 and I would highly recommend coming. It’s somewhat sad to see another season of improv over, but I enjoyed it and this will hopefully be a wonderful show to close out the season. Take care and I hope to see lots of people at the show tomorrow!

Monday, August 11, 2003

South Dakota 2003 Part III

Man, I think I forgot everything else we did on vacation. Thanks to me not updating regularly since I got back I’ve forgotten so much (especially since I’ve had to focus on getting Kingland’s new website screens uniform, nice looking, and containing the right information). I’m kind of torn at the moment as to how I should do the new site for Kingland. I’ve put together all the screens in Photoshop, but we don’t have GoLive here to publish the pages. What I’m stuck doing at the moment is slicing up the pages in Photoshop and sticking them into frames pages in Frontpage. I’d like to throw them right into GoLive and work with them from there, but I don’t know how to work with frames in GoLive. That is my dilemma—frames & frontpage or no frames & attempt to get GoLive? I don’t know what to do exactly, but hopefully after my meeting on Wednesday I’ll know.

Ok, ok, back to vacation. So, I told you about hiking and reptile gardens and watching movies. Umm……now what else did we do? Well, we did get a lot of cribbage playing done. I think that cribbage might be the one card game that Kristin, Randy, Ryan, and I all enjoy playing. We also played a lot of mini golf at the campground. A lot of the time we simply goofed around on the course and it was also fun to see what our horrible scores were at the end of the game. I also got a little bit of running in a couple of days, and of course our family did some shopping. I managed to come home with a start to a new collection—swords & daggers. I brought home a nice little short sword (I’ll post a picture of it in the vacation pictures when I get them up). Ryan & Randy, following big brother’s example, also came home with a short sword each (although Randy’s was more like a dagger). Kristin, adding to her collection, bought a carved Wolf knife and a throwing star.

Well, as much as I’d like to bore you with the rest of the small details of our vacation, I think I’ll move on. Besides, I’m running out of stuff to write today anyways. Well, that and I have to finish off some more screens for the web site here. Ok, this was short, but I’ll do better in the future.

Friday, August 08, 2003

South Dakota 2003 Part II

Ugghh…sorry for not updating but things didn’t work out so well for me getting anything posted. We had some problems with the proxy server at work which didn’t allow me to ftp anything out to my site. Since I couldn’t ftp I couldn’t update anything. Anyways, that’s my lame excuse. I know I could of updated it from home, but I was busy each night. Improv practice two of the nights and Wednesday Chris, Paul, and some other friends came over for a bonfire since I hadn’t seen either Chris or Paul since before they left for Alaska. Now that I’m not busy I’ll try to finish off describing the fun of vacation.

Well, it’s been a little while now and I don’t exactly remember the exact order that we did things so I’m just going to start spewing out stuff that we did in no particular order. So let’s start off by talking about reptiles. Our family made a visit to Reptile Gardens once again this year. I absolutely love that place. Where else can you go to see hundreds of snakes, lizards, birds, spiders, bugs, and the like. It’s also fun to be able to play with the couple of snakes, turtles, and sometimes other assorted animals that they have out. I’m always amazed at the sheer amount of different species of reptiles there and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when we’re talking about all the species in our world. Yeah, we had a great time.

Vacation wasn’t just a time to be lazy—we managed to get a few good hikes in while we were there. We climbed to the top of Little Devil’s Tower one day and went through Sunday Gulch another day. Oh yeah, we also took the obligatory hike around Sylvan Lake. It’s a short little jaunt and it’s absolutely beautiful walking around the lake and the rock formations. It is simply the prettiest lake that I have ever seen.

The hike up Little Devil’s Tower was a lot of fun. I’d been to the top twice before, two years ago and about five years ago. I absolutely love it up on top. The hike to get there is also moderately difficult so you can get some exercise while on your way. The view is spectacular from the top. I can’t describe it very well so you’ll have to check out the pictures once I finally get them up. I’m working on it…

The hike down into Sunday Gulch was one that was relatively new. Our family had never done it before and I thought it sounded interesting from the hiking path guide we had. Beautiful is what it was, until you got to the end of the trail. It was still very pretty towards the end, but the environment was marred by a close-by road where you could hear cars going by and by power lines running down a stretch of the woods. It just seemed to take away from the natural beauty of our surroundings……and it was also harder for me to imagine that I was in the Lord of the Rings, which I was doing most of the hike. The initial path into the gulch was a great climb down. We had to climb down a ravine of rocks and if not for the few guide poles they had up, it would have been a very treacherous hike down. I think I might have actually preferred it more treacherous, but for a family hike the rails were needed.

Now that you can see that we got sufficient exercise while on vacation, I would like to reinforce that we also had plenty of lazy time. We went to see Pirates of the Caribbean one day. This was a phenomenal movie and the theater we saw it in had an ├╝ber-THX-DTS-12.4-super-surround sound system that almost blew us out of the theater. I could honestly feel it pumping my heart for me during the action scenes. The screen was also huge helping to make the picture seem so much larger than life. We also had an outdoor movie night where we watched Rules of Engagement. We moved our little tv to the picnic table and hooked my portable dvd player into it. It was like a drive in theater……except it was a walk in theater.

Wow, I’ve got a lot more to tell you all, but I’m about finished with work and I have to head out to get ready for my improv show tonight. I’m only hosting, but I still have to be a little funny. If you can make it, our last show is next Friday. It’ll be an improv extravaganza much like last year’s (if anyone was there for it), where we will all perform. I hope to see you there (and I hope the proxy doesn’t act up again so I can keep posting).

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

South Dakota 2003 Part I

I’m back!!! Man, it feels so weird to get back into the swing of having to go to work and wake up early in the morning and all, but I knew I had to come back sometime. My vacation to Rapid City, South Dakota was a very relaxing and fun time. I think since my everyday life here in Minnesota is so boring I’ll take the next few posts to tell you about my vacation. There will soon be pictures to accompany these daily rememberings, but I have to format all of the photos first (and do a bunch of scanning of some of my mom’s photos).

I left for vacation on July 24th to first go to St. Cloud to pick up Kristin. I am very thankful that my family (and her family) were nice enough to let her come on vacation with the family. I don’t think it would have been as wacky without her. Ryan came with to pick up Kristin as well so I took him to the mall, watched some tv with him, visited Kristin at work, and ordered some Gary’s pizza while we waited for Kristin to get done with work (she wasn’t finished until 11 pm). It was a fun time, just me and Ryan hanging out in someone else’s house.

Friday consisted of a lot of driving. Kristin, Ryan, and I had to drive to meet my parents in Chamberlain, SD. The way we took, however short we thought it would be, took a long time to traverse because most of the roads were under construction. At least half of the way from St. Cloud to the MN border was under construction. It was absurd that a trek that should have taken us 5 hours to do ended up taking up almost 7. It was simply frustrating, but at least the company in the vehicle was good.

The rest of Friday was spent eating at Pizza Hut, tooling around at the campground, and perusing the local fireworks megashop. Also of note should be the temperature in Chamberlain for the day—112 degrees. It was a new record high. Driving there my car seemed to be running a little hotter than usual, but I thought it might have been from the extra stuff and people it was carrying. I found out how wrong I truly was when I got out of the car at the campground. It was like I was stepping into an industrial strength blast furnace. Even the wind made you feel hot instead of easing our overheated bodies. The only saving grace about this hot weather was that the humidity was very low.

The next day, Saturday, we had to finish our driving journey to Rapid City. We got going relatively early and made it to Rapid City in pretty good time, although we had to make a short stop at Wall Drug. We always stop here even though it’s such a joke of a tourist attraction. The only reason I enjoy the place is the sheer irony of the store. For all of the signs advertising it throughout the world and for all of its fame, Wall Drug is simply a tiny mini-mall that you’d find in any local town that’s decently sized. Any little strip mall could have been Wall Drug, but they weren’t. For some odd reason, this little strip mall became famous instead of the local five and dime down the road in backwatersville. The upside of visiting is that I had a few fun pictures taken with the junk in their backyard, much like I did two years ago.

The rest of Saturday was spent setting up the camper and tent and then lounging around being lazy. I managed to get a good amount of comics read, play a bunch of cribbage, and be king lazy. Really, that’s what vacation is all about—being lazy. Sure, you can be lazy all the time, but then how can you truly enjoy it? Speaking of lazy, I think I’m done for the day. For more about my vacation, tune in tomorrow.